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The flight of the Southern Carmine Bee-eater

Carmine_Bee-eater-1Witnessing the annual migration of the colourful Carmine Bee-eaters should feature on the bucket list of not only avid birders and photographers, but anyone who appreciates nature.

This spectacle takes place every year during the months of September and October on the banks of the Chobe River, and theZambezi Voyager is perfectly positioned to give visitors a front row seat as the birds congregate on the sand.

During the breeding season, Carmine Bee-eaters live in huge breeding colonies, and form smaller flocks when the season ends. One colony in Zimbabwe contained approximately 1 500 Carmine Bee-eaters, according to documented research.

Colonies on flat ground can contain up to 10 000 nests.

The birds emerge from their nesting holes after dawn and perch nearby, preening in the morning sun before flying out to feeding areas.

On sunny days, sunbaths are common, while water and dust-bathing activities help rid the birds of ectoparasites. In the late afternoon during the breeding season, they eat sand, snail-shell and other calcium-rich items.


During the season, you’ll also be able to spot rare and endemic species such as Shelley’s Sunbird, Rock Pratincole, Luapula Cisticola, Slaty Egret and many more aboard the Zambezi Voyager.

Keep an eye out for details on our special seasonal Carmine Bee-eater package for 2014.


By |September 30th, 2013|Birding|Comments Off on The flight of the Southern Carmine Bee-eater

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